Wole Balogun, Ado Ekiti
The crisis rocking the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) Federal University, Oye Ekiti (FUOYE), Ekiti State, chapter, on Thursday deepened as some angry members demanded the immediate resignation of the chairperson of the union, Comrade Akinyemi Omonijo. They threatened to impeach and disgrace him out of office.
This comes as four other groups within ASUU: Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU) headed by Dr Akinyemi Omonijo; Congress of Nigerian Academics (CNA), New Academic Staff Union (NASUF) and Concerned Academic Staff Union of Universities (CASUU), have emerged inspired by high-wire politics.
ASUU, FUOYE chapter, has been engulfed in crisis over a recent press briefing addressed by Omonijo and ASUU South-West zonal boss (Akure), Olufayo Olu Olu.
The development had angered many of the union members who insisted that they were not carried along; they denied allegations raised by the faction during the press briefing.
The splinter union led a recent impeachment process against Omonijo.
A couple of weeks ago, CNA was inaugurated in the university due to the cracks among members’ ranks.
Addressing journalists in Ado Ekiti on Thursday, CASUU members, through their chairman, Prof Sola Omotola and spokesman, Dr Wasiu Oyedokun-Ali, accused ASUU, Akure zone of fueling crisis in the university.
Oyedokun who read the speech said it was wrong for Olu-Olu to have taken side when the problem was still at its early stage.
The group said that it decided to take the bull by the horn to rescue the union from those who had decided to run it like a ‘cult.’
He debunked allegations of illegal promotions, mismanagement of funds and gross incompetence, among other accusations levelled by the Omonijo-led ASUU against the Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof Kayode Soremekun, describing them as baseless and unfounded.
“Our members felt the problem was not really about ASUU; it was about one man, Dr Omonijo. To us, impeaching him has been the only way for us to make progress; that is where we stand.
“ASUU congress had earlier met in October and resolved that Dr Omonijo must be removed. The motion was moved and the resolution taken to that effect but efforts to realise that was sabotaged by Prof Olu-Olu, because he stopped the letter we sent to ASUU National Executive Committee.
“Despite this, we insist that the Congress is supreme and we decided to assert its supremacy and proceed with the impeachment. On that, we stand.
Olu-Olu had while addressing the press alleged that Prof Soremekun had been acting like “Emperor.” His dispelled the insinuation that he was igniting a crisis in the university by hobnobbing and protecting Omonijo.
The professor of Physics said ASUU would stop at nothing to restore normalcy in the university by putting the management on its toes.
“The zonal ASUU is not interested in causing tension or crisis in FUOYE; we are here to restore the real academic culture. How can someone who is not a PhD degree holder be promoted a professor? Why must you ask students to pay money to buy reagents? All these are anomalies we want to correct,” he said.
Reacting to calls for his resignation and impeachment, Omonijo said he could not be removed, insisting that he was making frantic efforts to turn around the fortune of the union in the institution.